Reports: Liverpool to hijack Chelsea's move for $45.1 million midfielder
What's the story?
Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's exit from the club is all set to transform into a tug-of-war, with Liverpool entering the race for the Englishman, according to a report in British news outlet, The Mirror. The Reds are hoping that they can take advantage of Chamberlain's preference to join Jurgen Klopp over Antonio Conte, and steal the wantaway star from under Chelsea's noses. The Gunners have made the decision to sell him within the transfer deadline after the 24-year-old rejected a massive salary increase, with manager Arsene Wenger reportedly authorising the sale to either one of their Premier League rivals.
In case you didn't know...
Having come through the ranks at Southampton, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signed for Arsenal after only one season as a first team player at the South Coast club. The Englishman was only 17 years old when Arsenal parted with a massive £12 million for him, a fee that would rise to £15 million with add-ons. In the 7 years he has spent with the Gunners, the Ox has made 196 appearances in all competitions, having scored 20 times for the Arsenal, in a fairly stop-start career.
The heart of the matter
Oxlade-Chamberlain has reportedly had a face-to-face meeting with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, making it clear that he wants a move so that he can further his development, with the Englishman preferring to start in the middle, as opposed to the wings, where's he's been primarily deployed by Arsenal.
Arsenal had offered him a massive salary increase, which would earn the midfielder about $232,290 a week, but Oxlade-Chamberlain turned them down. Chelsea have made contact with his agents with a move almost close to being agreed, but it appears Liverpool have made a late move for the Englishman.
According to the report, Chamberlain prefers joining the Reds, as he views Jurgen Klopp as more of a developmental manager, in addition to the large presence of English national team members at Anfield. Liverpool are thus hoping to take advantage of his keenness to join, matching Chelsea's bid of $45.1 million, although with a lower salary than offered by either of Chelsea or Arsenal.
Losing a player approaching his peak is never an ideal situation, but Arsenal may recoup a fair amount for Oxlade-Chamberlain now that both Liverpool and Chelsea have entered the race.